The government has caved to the ideologues opposed to the APPG definition of Islamophobia

Either that, or it simply doesn’t care what the Muslim community thinks.

It seems the government is poised to reject the definition of Islamophobia proposed by the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims. Instead, it appears to have capitulated to a small group of vocal and well-established ideologues, some of whom have misrepresented the definition.

Those who oppose the definition have thrown everything into the cause: they claim it limits free speech, that it is emanating from Islamists, and most recently, that it hampers counterterrorism efforts.

The leaders of the APPG itself have rebutted most of these arguments (see Wes Streeting’s defence here). It is also supported by all the main political parties as well as a broad cross-section of Muslim communities representing hundreds of mosques and organisations from religious to secular and across the UK.

Still, astonishingly, a government spokesman claims there is not enough support for the definition, ignoring the views of the impacted communities and the country’s leading experts. Instead, the government will “appoint two new independent advisers to produce their own definition”: because, it would seem, they know better.

How did we arrive here?

In March 2018, Home Office minister Victoria Atkins said “we do not accept the need for a definitive definition (of Islamophobia)”. This was just after an insidious campaign against prominent Muslims and mosques who were told that they would be subject to a “Punish a Muslim Day”.

When the APPG launched its definition in November 2018, the government response in the House of Lords in December and January 2019 kicked the issue into the long grass, with an expectation that this would be looked into at some undefined point in the future.

However, as the APPG definition gained greater traction with all the main political parties (even the Scottish …read more

Source:: New Statesman


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